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Ms Donna Ciarlo

Ms Donna Ciarlo


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I joined London South Bank University (LSBU) as a member of the teaching team in 2019 and now work as a graduate teaching assistant whilst doing my PhD part-time. I teach across BSc and MSc Psychology modules, specialising mainly in qualitative research methods. I have a BSc in Psychology and research experience stemming from research projects at LSBU and working as a Business Analyst in technology and event system management. Prior to working in academia, I worked across a wide range of sectors and organisations, including not-for-profit organisations, trade body and political parties for nearly 20 years.

Overall, my interests are broadly in mental health and have worked on two published research projects with service users in secure mental health wards. One project looked at sexuality and relationship experiences (funded by the Wellcome Trust) and the other on travelling memories and remembering and forgetting the past.

My PhD research is a mixed-methods approach looking at the influence of community and social spaces in mental health hospitals on emotional arousal and aspects of cognition and the phenomenological meaning being in these spaces. I am interested in using visual methods and technology (virtual reality and wearables) in research to gather a more holistic understanding to how spaces make people feel and behave. I am keen to investigate how we can enhance the psychosocially supportive elements of social spaces and to adapt the guidelines for designers, architects and hospital staff from creating to using these spaces.

I have been working with members of the Design in Mental Health Network (DiMHN) writing evidence based booklets to guide those designing mental health spaces. The first looked at design with physical, social and psychological borders and boundaries in mind and the latest is an international review, comparing research and hospital design around the world.

Courses taught

Psychology - BSc (Hons)

Psychology - MSc

Psychology (Child Development) - BSc (Hons)

Psychology (Clinical Psychology) - BSc (Hons)

Psychology (Forensic Psychology) - BSc (Hons)

Criminology with Psychology - BSc (Hons)

Psychology with Criminology - BSc (Hons)

BSc Psychology (Hons)

London South Bank University

Senior Project Manager / Lead Business Analyst
GSMA Limited (London)

I worked as part of the Event technology, customer care and registration team and researched and coded requirements, scoped and managed system development which covered data & reporting, websites, access management systems (secure badge access) and app functionality. I worked as a programme manager, working with stakeholders Worldwide. I managed several consecutive projects which were inclusive of business and data analysis, development, testing, launch and stakeholder reporting.

Operations Manager
Event Advantage Solutions (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

I managed client projects from the initial bid of work stage through to onsite event delivery in venues across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Conference Services Officer, Conference & Events Division
Labour Party (Head Office, Newcastle)

I had primary responsibility for the development of the event management system which received funding after the systems became unfit for purpose. I co-ordinated over 400 fringe events at party conferences and worked as production and operational support at fundraising events in various venues across the UK.

Third sector/charities
Customer Support Assistant
National Building Specification (NBS)

I was responsible for scheduling and planning product demonstrations, visits, events, and training courses for customers (architects, civil engineers etc.).


Filter publications

Choreographies of sexual safety and liminality: Forensic mental health and the limits of recovery
Reavey, P., Brown, S., Ravenhill, J., Boden-Stuart, Z and Ciarlo, D. (2022). Choreographies of sexual safety and liminality: Forensic mental health and the limits of recovery. Social Science and Medicine.